With the New Year fast approaching a lot of you will be starting a new diet regime of some sort. Maybe you'll do the Mediterranean diet or try a Whole 30, but what they all come down to is EAT REAL FOOD. I know that some people are just too busy to learn every nuance of those systems to make them truly effective and to make it stick. What a lot of people want is to just be told WHAT to cook. I get it. So I've decided to post 12 (maybe more) really great recipes for the New Year. These are only things that I make on a regular basis. Some are easier than others, but I promise you will love them!

Food can be so stressful for people. Whether they are eating to fill a certain ideology, or they use food as a therapist :::lays on the couch with a sleeve of Oreos.::: The main rule is to eat food that tastes good and sends your hormones the right signals. While in general I don't think it's good to snack often, below I list a few snack ideas that won't fully derail you. As of late I've been using the intermittent fasting method of leaving a 8 hour eating window and fasting the other 16 hours. So for me I stop eating at 8pm and don't eat again until 11 or 12 the next day with the exception of the occasional Bulletproof Coffee with Brain Octane, tea, and water. I've noticed that when I eat breakfast I get slower, less focused, and crave snacks the rest of the morning. So since I'm only having two other meals, they better taste good right? Sometimes my big meal is at lunch, sometimes dinner. The smaller meal is almost always some kind of salad or if I need something warm- sautéed greens with an over-easy egg on top. On days I train I often crave more protein and some days meat doesn't sound good at all. I listen to my body. Hopefully when you have a sweet arsenal of solid real-food recipes (that you enjoy cooking,) eating will be stress-free.

Go-to Snacks

Real Fermented Sauerkraut rolled in a slice of Deli Ham If you can do cheese a nice slice of imported Swiss melted in the microwave (before you add the kraut) can be really good!

A tin of Smoked Oysters or sardines alone or on a Cracker (gluten free) Add a killer salad and it's a meal! A generous portion of smoked salmon can be nice too.

Homemade* Pesto or Tapenade, Jerky, Salami, Prosciutto Ham, Liver Pate, or Baba Ganoush Eaten alone or on a buttered piece of this bread. Try subbing cilantro for basil in your pesto for a therapeutic effect. 

Egg Salad made with Homemade* Mayo over a bed of arugula. Recipe coming soon.

A Square of 90% Dark Chocolate and a pitted date tastes just like a Hershey's bar if you close your eyes.

A Pomegranate Tear it open- health benefits galore.

4 to 8oz of GT's Kombucha It's a classic and it satisfies sugar cravings while bringing the probiotics.

Leftovers If they were good and balanced the first time it seems to reason...

Carrots or Celery I think my mom said "If you're not hungry for vegetables, you're not actually hungry."

So there's some snacks, let's talk about the recipes. While living in a smaller town than Minneapolis for a few years I was forced to learn a few tricks in the kitchen. There was no Brasa, Punch Pizza, or King and I Thai to lean on when I didn't want to cook. The recipes I post are mostly what I craved from these places as well as a few I picked up from family and friends. All of them have been adapted for my family to always be gluten-free and mostly dairy-free. If there are substitutions that can be made I will mention them. If you have a favorite recipe that includes gluten or dairy- feel free to send it to me and I will do my best to convert it for you.

At the Store

Always choose high quality vegetables and meats. Even if you are skeptical about the effect of GMOs or have heard that going organic is B.S., just remember- It is important to vote with your pocket book! We must reward those who treat animals humanely and farmers who put in the effort to preserve our earth. Supporting them is taking money out of the pockets of those who would destroy it.

I hope you get a chance to try some of these recipes. The first one is Spicy Shrimp Soup and you can already find it Right Here! In each post is a printable jpeg so you can collect them all! Feel free to leave a comment. That adorable knit beet in the photo above can be found here.

*When I specify homemade I mean it. :) These store-bought oil based foods are often made with rancid, low quality oils. You can find high quality avocado, olive, or MCT oil just about anywhere these days. Pair that with an immersion blender and you can make any condiment your heart desires.